Life Of Last-Known Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Survivor Sheds Light On Dark Chapter In U.S. History

Redoshi, given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin, a country in West Africa, and sold into slavery.
Many of the survivors of the slave ship Clotilda's voyage are buried in Old Plateau Cemetery near Mobile, Ala. (Julie Bennett/AP)

A researcher has discovered the identity of the last-known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States.

Redoshi, later given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin in West Africa, in 1860. She was sold into slavery, making the journey to Alabama on the Clotilde, the last-known slave ship to arrive in the U.S.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd talks with Newcastle University researcher Hannah Durkin, who uncovered Redoshi’s story.

“This was about hopefully giving a sense of the lived realities of this sort of terrible history — that’s obviously not just a U.S. history, but is also British history, European history, Caribbean history,” Durkin says.

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